What makes a story great? Is it the twists and turns that the author takes his characters on? Is it the growth the characters experience through the chapters or the solving of a mystery? Is it the evolving of a love story or the surprise ending? One thing is for sure, a great story is one that is original; no one likes reading a copycat.
I believe that we are each living our own story. Our stories are so unique and different. No two are even close to being similar and that’s because we are each surrounded by different people, in different places and going through different experiences. I love knowing we are each living out different stories, but if I’m honest, I was trying to make my own story a copycat.
I found myself looking at my friends’ stories and wanting those relationships and experiences happening in my story too. I was frustrated with the chapter my story was in and this attitude of mine began to plant seeds of discouragement, discontentment and ungratefulness in my heart. The more I desired to have their stories as my own, the deeper those roots grew.
I don’t think anyone would be surprised to hear that the one similarity of our stories is the Author: God. And He is overly qualified for the job. He is omniscient (all knowing), omnipotent (all powerful) and omnipresent (everywhere at all times). He is exactly who I want holding the pen to my story.
Why then am I so quick to take the pen back and look around, offering my criticism and critique to my Author? I believe it’s because I have allowed those seeds of discouragement, discontentment and ungratefulness to take root. This results in me being fearful and doubting God’s good Authorship over my story. I need to be reminded of the truth that is so beautifully written in the following verses,
“1 O LORD, you have searched me and known me!
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar.
3 You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.
4Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.
5 You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.
13For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
15My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!
24 And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”
-Psalm 139:2-6, 13-18, 23-24
Surrender that Pen
God knows us, and thus He knows what is best for us. He is full of grace and gently calls us back when we stray from Him, but we have to be the ones who surrender the pen to Him. No matter what is going on in the stories of those around you or the ideas you have for your own story, nothing compares to His perfect story for you.
God does not create copycat stories. God is with us right where we are and He so wants us to rejoice and live out this chapter we are in for His glory. Only He knows what the next chapter holds.
What we we can do right now is daily read His story (The Bible) and rejoice that He has included us in that beautiful book of redemption! We can also talk with our Author. He so values our ideas, our feelings and our love for others. He wants us to be on this adventure together; it’s the best way to experience our story! And finally, we can love those around us well and the stories that they are living through.
Imagine what the body of Christ would look like if we stop comparing our stories and instead rejoice and mourn with our brothers and sisters. Join me in Trusting that His story for each of us is best. The freedom and peace that comes from surrendering that pen is indescribable.